30 new airports are likely to come up in the country in next 15 months. Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently inaugurated the country’s 100th airport at Pakyong in Sikkim. “The new airports will be in addition to 100 airports already operational. The Airports Authority of India (AAI) will develop the airports jointly with the state governments under the UDAN scheme. The investment at each airport will be around 300 million to 800 million,” said A.K. Pathak, Member (Planning), AAI. In addition, 31 new helipads will also be developed. The new airport in Jharsuguda district in Odisha was inaugurated by the Prime Minister of India on September 22, 2018.
The Jharsuguda airport was developed by AAI in collaboration with the state government at an estimated cost of 2.10 billion. With a 2,390-metre long runway, the airport will be able to accommodate Airbus A320 and Boeing aircraft. The area of terminal building is 4,000 square metres with peak hour handling capacity of 300 passengers. There are plans to handle 20 million passengers annually at Jharsuguda from about 0.9 million passengers now. Jharsuguda will be the second airport to become operational in Odisha after Bhubaneswar and will provide necessary connectivity to Bhubaneswar, Raipur and Ranchi. In Odisha, other than Jharsuguda, three more airports, namely, Jeypore in Koraput district, Rourkela in Sundargarh district and Utkela in Kalahandi district are being developed to provide connectivity to remote and far flung areas of the state. For revival and upgrade of these four airports within the state, 3.7 billion has been allocated under the UDAN scheme.